Even before your birth
you sensed the stars round Earth
would aid you in your migratory flight.
There surely is no dearth
of peril in the night:
tempests, towers, artificial light.
The cat, the fox, the hawk—
at dawn or dusk—invite
adversity. Yet all your instincts lock
together with your flock
on the most unerring arrow
in all the world: the coruscating clock
which sends you on your narrow
way to land in Faroe
or in Australia. Every constellation
lies hidden in your marrow.
By learning the location
of the North Star and others in relation
to that familiar mark,
you’ll reach your destination.
O Vega, Capella, Arcturus, gracing the dark—
over the shore, the park,
each edifice in the stark
cold air—lift up all those who must embark!